These days, there might only be one topic of conversation in the news, on social media, and in our own chats to friends and family. Along with new ways of working, teaching and learning, we are even adopting a new lexicon to help us talk about it. My own personal “Health” topic vocabulary has grown to include such words and phrases as self-isolation, social distancing and herd immunity. Continue reading
Advanced-level English language instruction focuses on helping adults achieve the language proficiency they need to transition out of their English language lessons onto their educational or career paths, engage with their communities, and advocate successfully for themselves and their families. One of the gifts of teaching at this level is the ability to communicate the adult education principles at the heart of our instructional design. Continue reading
In recognition of the lunar new year on January 28th and to celebrate the Year of the Rooster, we’ve created some resources for your language learning classroom. Former contributors Vanessa Esteves, Julietta Schoenmann, and Christopher Graham have come up with a range of activities and tasks for young learners and secondary level learners through to adult learners that we hope you’ll enjoy. Happy New Year!
Young Learner Resources:
Ken Wilson is the author of Smart Choice and in all has written more than 30 ELT titles. We asked teachers from around the world who have been using Smart Choice what one question they would like to ask Ken. In this video blog Ken answers the question ‘How can Smart Choice be used for drama role play activities?’
To relate English language learning to their daily lives, students need the opportunity to say something about themselves or to give their opinion. We all need to find manageable activities that help students with personalization.
In this final Question and Answer video blog, Ken Wilson demonstrates how you can use coursebook material as the basis for personalization activities. He then suggests how teachers can extend language learning by asking students to play different parts in role-play activities.
Wilson, Ken and Healy, Thomas. (2016) Smart Choice Third Edition, Oxford University Press.
Wilson, Ken. (2008) Drama and Improvisation, Oxford University Press.
Having graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Jonathan returned to his native Malta to get a TEFL Certificate before going to Korea for 4 years to travel and teach English. He has now returned to Toronto where he started CreatEng Cafe – a creative writing website for English learners. Each year they host a Creative Writing Competition where students from all over the world participate for a chance to win prizes and get published.
Learning phrases and studying grammar will help students understand the foundation of English, but they can only truly become fluent once they are able to construct their own sentences freely and independently, and what better way to do that then by telling a story?
Here are 7 ways creative writing can help your students learn English:
- Puts Your Grammar Lessons Into Practice
So they get pretty good marks on their grammar test, but what about their ability to communicate their thoughts? Sometimes students spend so much time with their heads in books they do not get the opportunity to share their own stories. This can help them practice all the grammar they learned and put it together into an entertaining story.
- Improve Confidence
Having someone else read a story you wrote is very empowering, but even if they don’t share it, students will build confidence having the freedom to create their own story and not having to worry about being perfect.
- Inspiring and Motivational
Grammar books can be a little rigid, and creative writing gives students a little more time in the playground. Having been able to write a full story, no matter how long or short, will give them a sense of accomplishment and the motivation to push themselves further.
- Exercise their Creativity
Some words or phrases can have several different meanings, and creative writing gives students the ability to think about the words they use differently. This new perspective on words will let them be adventurous and it will lead them to more discoveries.
- Accessible Anywhere and Anytime
Some students will not have anyone to practice their English with outside of the classroom, but creative writing can be a great outlet for students who want to continue practicing at home or at school.
- Think in English
When students learn how to communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings in English they will feel more in control. They will eliminate that step of translating or thinking in their head and it will become more natural for them.
- Become More Fluent
There is a sense of accomplishment having learned how to think in English and communicate a story confidently. Practice makes perfect and with each story they write they become more and more fluent.
Do your students have a story to tell?
They can enter the CreatEng Cafe writing competition for their chance to
win prizes and get published.